Her mother once called Olive a tart. Inaudible sounds ring inside her skin. How fast she can pack up her lump of stuff and get on a plane. Olive calls it a blip of badness, this tripping over the man’s nuts and flying to meet him. A lie, people snicker. Nobody can trip over nuts. Grab them, she says. Brazen.
Olive can smell testosterone dust settling over her. A lovely man, startled by tragedy, but fierce. Hungry for a new male to please, Olive squeezes lipstick over her clamshell mouth. How they watch her. Even bees follow Olive.
Olive says the winds were bad—really bad. Hot dogs blew out of the buns that day. All over town and she wanted something to hold onto. He laughed so hard! Olive called it a wind surge. Sneaker waves are normal where she comes from.
Olive has a rear-view mirror but forgets to look. Wears a beaded sweater, one she frets over and won’t have cleaned. The gully inside her mind hurts. Nobody ever pets Olive’s head, coos sweet words of garbage to her. There is a wide-open cut.
Lie to me just once, tell me I will be fine, Olive has been known to say. She wishes to be carried home, but not really. She’s promiscuous—lying to herself. She is most at home in the dark cave of a red-eye flight to nowhere.
MEG POKRASS is the author of five flash fiction collections and a book of prose poetry, Cellulose Pajamas, for which she received the Blue Light Book Award in 2016. Her work has been widely internationally anthologized, most recently in New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015) and The Best Small Fictions 2018, 2019. She serves as Founding Co-Editor of Best Microfiction 2020, Founding Editor of New Flash Fiction Review, Flash Challenge Editor for Mslexia Magazine, and Festival Curator for Flash Fiction Festival, U.K. Meg teaches flash fiction online and in person. Find out more at megpokrass.com.